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Family values

Regarding your article “Full House” [winter 2009], I disagree that it is evident or a foregone conclusion that the gay and lesbian lifestyle is without long-term societal impact. The article does not address some of society’s concerns that the lifestyle is biologically unhealthy, for example. There are also cultural and religious sectors who find the lifestyle abhorrent. The entire Muslim world and much of the fundamental Christian community will never accept it as a choice that God wants us to make. These beliefs should not be ignored. Laws may support gays’ rights to marry and have families, but society at large may be affected in different ways for many more years to come.

Ronald Munoz (MOTM ’02)
Littleton, Colo.


I want to congratulate the University of Denver Magazine for the wonderful articles on DU alumna Ellie Schafer and full-time lecturer Geoffrey Bateman. It was a great pleasure to read both articles. I am encouraged to know that the University is accepting of families from all sexual orientations. It is time to openly celebrate the lives and accomplishments of all our University community. I hope that Colorado and the country very soon will provide all families the equal rights and protections we all deserve.

Mariana Enríquez-Olmos (PhD ’02)


I am very disturbed, but not surprised, by the intentional disregard in your winter 2009 edition of the clear boundary between moral and immoral sexual behavior. No matter how many well-written, well-presented articles you produce, attempts to normalize that which is aberrant do not make it natural. The fact that human reproduction proceeds from one male and one female (even when done artificially in a laboratory) says all that needs to be said about the natural order of the family. It is not “hate speech” for me to hold the view I do on this topic; it is my right as an American citizen. And this view is the one held by the vast majority of people in virtually every society throughout human history (or held at least until a society goes into moral decline, thus precipitating its demise). It is no more hateful than it would be to say that alcoholics have great value as human beings but some of their behavior is propelled by physiological and/or psychological dysfunction. Those involved in homosexual behavior are to be treated with dignity, as are all human beings. But that does not mean homosexuality itself must be accepted as right, predetermined, or inevitable — a fact attested to by several former homosexuals I personally know or have heard speak, including two who entered heterosexual marriage and a third in a heterosexual dating relationship possibly headed to marriage.

William Brown
Monument, Colo.


I always enjoy your magazine but [the winter 2009] issue is fantastic. I applaud your in-depth articles on Ellie Schafer [“Welcome to the White House”] and the Lusero family [“Full House”]. It was brave of you to publish them and they make me so proud of our school. I am an Obama fan and this just made me all the happier to know that the Obamas walk the walk in addition to talking the talk. It is wonderful to read about the challenges and successes of these people.

Jane Ringer (BS ’89, MT ’91)
Englewood, Colo.


Alumni author

I was pleased to see the article on author Sandra Dallas [Connections, winter 2009]. I had recently read and enjoyed her book Prayers for Sale. I enjoyed reading about her background and the fact that she is a DU graduate. I’m looking forward to more of her stories.

Freya Vratny Oakes (BSBA ’73)
Aurora, Colo.


There is a surprising gap in the interview with Sandra Dallas which manages to omit or ignore her long association with The Denver Post. While author Greg Glasgow cites her BusinessWeek stint, her longer association has been as the Western history book reviewer for the Post — a worthy and far-sighted appointment by the late L. Stanton Peckham quite early in her career. Sandra has long been the insightful heir to Caroline Bancroft in matters Denver and the West.

Glenn Giffin (MA ’67, Denver Post book editor, 1989-99)


Global warming skeptic

Permit me to share a little political incorrectness with the green advocates and green gripers who commented on the “Going Green” article [fall 2009]. As a student at DU in the mid-’60s, I regularly read articles in national publications regarding the impending peril of global cooling. Thus, I take a skeptical view of global warming, which I count a fraud, an easy rallying-ground for those with socialist political agendas. My question is whether there is any comparable skeptic on the faculty of the University of Denver — for the sake of open discourse and diversity, of course. Were such a hypothetical professor to dare to write an article debunking global warming, breathes there a University of Denver Magazine editor with the courage (and accrued emergency savings) to print said article? Just wondering.

Don Burgess (MA ’67)
Fort Worth, Texas



I just finished reading the essay that Ms. Baker-Hauck wrote [“Homeplace,” winter 2009]. What a beautiful tribute! It brought me to tears reading about her grandparents and the reminiscing of family. The writing was beautiful and the descriptions of Oregon were vivid. How lucky she is to have such wonderful memories. Thank you for including such a touching essay in your magazine.

Melissa Richards (MBA candidate)
Parker, Colo.


Ready, aim …

Regarding the DU law clinic article [“DU law clinic sues feds over Rio Grande headwaters,” Update, fall 2009], it was disappointing to see that the DU law students were challenging prairie dog shoots. We could go over the same ground pro-shooters have voiced many times, but instead I’ll give a couple of personal experiences. My dad grew up in west Texas. Shooting prairie dogs was as much a part of life in the 1940s as it is today. I grew up thinking the goal was to eradicate the troublesome rodent, but nothing could be further from the truth. I did most of my prairie dog shooting in the ’70s and ’80s, rarely traveling to Texas now. My first experience is of a rancher who was watering pasture for his cattle and prairie dogs moved in. In this case he wanted us to eliminate all the rodents. After several days we had killed all but two pairs. Around 2006 I was surprised to learn that my dad was having the prairie dog lady transplant prairie dogs onto his farm! The land is currently in the land bank and not in cultivation. Prairie dogs will not stay on cultivated land, as there is not a dependable source of food. His reasoning was that a population of prairie dogs would provide for good shooting and create some habitat for coyotes and hawks.

Stephen Johnson (BA ’79)
Aurora, Colo.

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